Thursday, January 29, 2009

10 more weeks to go!

Today I am exactly 30 weeks. I have 10 weeks left to go. I seriously can't wait for this bebe to come out. I never enjoyed being pregnant, and now that I'm getting to the point where I'm supposed to be gaining a bit more weight, I'm definitely feeling like a beached whale, and feeling more uncomfortable by the day. Lying on my stomach seems to be a distant memory. My back and hips are constantly hurting, despite the fact that I see my chiropractor and massage therapist on a regular basis, stretch and try to maintain good posture. I have mild to medium heartburn and acid reflux, which is not a pleasant thing to deal with already. My stomach seems to be sore all the time from all the stretching and growing my baby does.

Life has been quite busy for me. Every weekend (and many days during the week), I'm still trying to figure this whole baby thing out. I still don't complete have my head wrapped around the basics of changing a dirty diaper, and that I mean from the time you take a diaper off to the time you put a new one on. I may be just making things more confusing for myself by over thinking about it. I also don't know how to clothe a baby properly (although I bought a few cute clothing), and it never occurred to me that the you can layer clothing on a baby until a few days ago. I worry that the breastfeeding thing may not work out for me. I pretty much don't know anything!

The baby's been kicking quite a bit, definitely when I want to sleep or if I wake in the middle of the night, but it's doing more karate chops during the day as well. We went to the midwife's today and I asked how big my uterus is. Apparently everything that's sticking out, which is pretty amazing. And the kid's only taking up half the space still, so the rest is filled with amniotic fluid I imagine. I definitely notice sometimes when the kid does somersaults because I feel kicking going around in a circle.

I notice that my appetite has increase, and I want to eat more stuff. I'm trying to stay away from eating junk, but it's really hard sometimes! Never mind the foods that I'm not supposed to eat! I really miss those foods too. There is also a misconception that I should be eating for two. Technically, I only need an extra 300 calories per day, and that really amounts to one or two healthy snacks, not three extra meals. I definitely don't want pregnancy as a license to eat whatever I want and whenever I want. It's not healthy for me or the bebe. Yet my family insists that I'm not eating enough. Sigh.

I get stared at quite a bit at the gym. People wonder if I should still be exercising, and sometimes they ask. Today at my step class, the substitute instructor that I had was 5 months pregnant with her second one, and while she had to take frequent breaks, she was still able to jump around like crazy (I think was able to be as energetic as her when I was 5 months along, not anymore though). I'm also still doing weight training (at a much, much lower intensity and weights) to keep my body strong, and I have to say that I'm probably stronger now because I'm going to the gym more often, than I was even a year ago. Some women in some countries work hard labour in fields up until the time they give birth, I certainly think that my body can withstand a bit of exercise. By the way, I'm still doing Pilates, but that'll probably end by the end of February. I definitely have much less control over my ab muscles as I get bigger. If you watch me trying to do a roll up, it's, well, pretty much comical.

People also tell me the oddest things, and I feel there is so much misconception about the fragility of pregnant women and babies that I almost think people make it up. For instance:
  • I shouldn't be moving so fast, the jiggling may hurt the baby.
  • I shouldn't bounce up and down when doing step class or going up stairs, the bouncing motion may hurt the baby.
  • I normally wear a set of keys around my neck at work, and the key chain is long enough so that the keys constantly hit my tummy. I shouldn't be doing that as that may hurt the baby. You should see how hard the midwife presses her fingers into my tummy when she's checking me out, and that doesn't hurt the baby one bit, so I don't think a bit of tapping against the stomach will affect it in any way.
  • I've been told that I should stop exercising, I may hurt the baby. This was from someone who doesn't exercise.
  • My favourite from my 95 year old grandmother: I shouldn't be wearing constricting clothing (I was wearing maternity clothing at the time), I may harm the baby by squeezing it too much: I shouldn't be wearing looser clothing and let everything hang, you know so the baby has more room to move. Gee, I wonder how my baby likes it every time I cough or sneeze, because my stomach muscles squeezes the baby like crazy. I'm definitely not telling her that I still do crunches.
My other biggest headache right now is figuring out my maternity leave. I wanted to give myself the flexibility of returning to work early if I wanted to, but which ended up complicating things. That turned out to be a lot of emails back and forth between myself and the HR lady. I'd managed to corner my boss today so that he can check over my job description, and in his typical fashion, he rearranged, added and chopped the entire thing, which means another edit. I need to submit it soon as HR has go through it's own rigmarole before it's even posted. Hiring at work is at least a 6 week process, if I'm lucky, so I need to get on this pronto!

My other headache is trying to figure out daycare, but that's another post unto itself. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Okay, I've read a lot of different Pride and Prejudice spin-off/fan fiction/whatever you want to call them. I'm actually not a big fan of Elizabeth Bennet because I find her too self-righteous and annoying, and sadly enough, I'm okay if I read a story where Darcy ends up with a different heroine. That's how much Elizabeth annoys me.

But I simply have to read this book! I don't think I've ever heard of a plot line quite like this, I think it's hilarious! And the book has illustrations too, how awesome is that?!?!

A synopsis can be found here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Robbie Burns Day!

Okay, I'm one day late technically, but I was super busy yesterday, and had no time to blog! Although he's more famous for writing Auld Lang Syne, I will leave you with my favourite poem by Robbie, To A Louse. If you don't know what a louse is, it's singular for lice. The poem is brilliant, you must read it!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Today is the beginning of the new Chinese New Year! My sister pointed out that not only is she an Ox, but so is my grandmother (she'll be 96 this year!), and so will the bebe. She was very chuffed when she realised that her niece/nephew will be the same zodiac sign as her. I think if they're so similar, then my sister can babysit lots for me, she'll get along great with the kid. Ha.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I want to hire this guy

Mordac rules. Someone at work pointed out that our office managers should hire the cow, he's smarter. I agree.

I had a week from hell, and I knew it would be a week from hell, I just didn't anticipate it would turn out to be something that blew up on the server. The person at work who solved the problem can never leave our group or retire. Seriously. He's not supposed to be doing the low level technical stuff any longer, but quite honestly, he revels in it. I've spent many a late night with him in the past. The man is brilliant. He's been promoted to an Architect level, but doing the low level techie stuff is where his passions really is.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Third Trimester!

So today is the start of my Third Trimester! Yes, I'm finally 28 weeks and can hardly believe that I've made it this far!. I'm starting to get a little heavier, and starting to feel a little more miserable. My back hurts more, and I can never find a comfortable enough of a position to sleep in, although I'm still able to sleep on my back. I'm also back in the routine of stretching before going to bed, I need it to ward off the back pain somehow. The SI joint pain, I've given up on ages ago. I really look forward to my massage therapy and chiropractor visits.

I've caught a cold, and was very unhappy that I wasn't able to take anything for it. Fortunately, I hydrated like crazy and tried to sleep as much as I could, that seemed to do the trick. But this perpetual dry cough that I've had for about a month just won't quite go away. Sigh. I'm still going to my doctor's for my flu shot sometime soon.

I'm definitely huffing and puffing going up stairs. Apparently from this point onwards, I'm going to gain about 1/2 pound a week. I'm really hoping I don't go above 20 lbs, last I weighed myself, I was about 12-13 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight. I already feel like a beached whale.

Nonetheless, we had moved my due date, I am now due April 9th. But anything can still happen between now and when the bebe decides to finally pop out. A lady at my gym today told me that her second child came about a month early. We still haven't moved out the old furniture from the bedroom, I've hardly bought anything that we need, and I just don't feel ready yet. I'm hoping by this time next month we'd be a little closer to being prepared for this kid.

Frankly, while I'm grudgingly getting used to the changes in my body, it still hasn't hit me yet that I'm going to have a baby. Or that my life is forever going to change. Overall, I still go about doing my own thing, and albeit my life is taken over by planning, doing and buying baby stuff, I still treat it as another hobby, or just another thing to do. And of course, there is that lingering resentment that I'm going to be giving up a lot of my independence for a good long time. Hey, I'm just being honest. I know I am not the only parent-to-be to feel this way.

Yes, I know I'm in for quite a shock.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cloth Diapers

In an effort to reduce costs and to be somewhat more environmentally friendly, Hubby and I will be trying to use cloth diapers for the bebe. Today, we went to a diapering clinic to help us understand a bit more about what cloth diapering is all about. I had done a ton of research on cloth diapers, but until we actually held the different ones in our hands, it was hard to conceptualise all the different choices out there.

And there are a lot of different choices! I'm not even going to get into all the differences you can have with diapers, diaper covers, liners, doublers, and inserts. You can read this Cloth Diapering Guide here, and more Diapering 101 info here.

I will tell you that there is a bit of experimentation, and trial and error; that's what I've heard from a lot of people. So that may be a bit of frustration, patience and endurance to go getting it to work. But if I can reuse my diapers, or even have them recycled, biodegrade or reused by someone else, I'm going with this option. Or at least try. I definitely will try not to let the lure of convenience with disposables be my scape goat (by the way, I lot of people also tell me that you need to sometimes experiment with different brands of diapers, and they are notorious for leaking as well).

Will I never use disposables? I'm not naive enough to think that will never happen. But I'm at least willing to give the cloth diapering thing a good college try. Some of my friends have looked at me like I'm crazy when I mention using cloth diapers. Some things I've heard is that "they leak" (so do disposables), or "you'll have to do a lot of washing" (still costs less over time than buying disposable diapers), or "you'll get diaper rash" (you get them more with disposables).

My stance on this is that, like everything else with the baby, you need to figure out how things are going to work, yes it takes time and perseverance, and yes, it's going to be frustrating. However, there are lots of resources online, if you're patient enough to look for them. I've already bookmarked a number of diapering reference sites. And it never hurts to ask people for advice, that is sometimes the best source of information.

Often convenience comes at a heavy price on the environment, and I feel that this compromise isn't good enough for me. So cloth diapers, here I come!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Trying to be greener...

This is a very familiar symbol to most of us: reduce, reuse, recycle. This is certainly not a new concept; I was taught the 3 R's from an early age. But as we live in an ever-increasing world of instant gratification and disposible materialism, I think many of us (including myself) have forgotten this lesson in favour of getting what you want, now! and convenience.

One of my goals this year is to green my household more. I feel this is a ongoing work-in-progress, because as I do more to green myself, I also learn more. But for the basics, I try to think about the 3 Rs with any product that I use day-to-day:

  • Do I really need to buy this item? Perhaps I can think about buying it, or find a better/cheaper/more environmental option out there.
  • Does the item really need all that packaging that gets thrown into the garbage right away?
  • Can I reuse this item in a different way?
  • Can someone else reuse this item after I've been done with it?
  • If you really think about it, everything, and I do mean everything, eventually has an end-of-life: in other words, it will end up being thrown out. So, is there another way the item can reincarnate itself without having to end up in the dump?
This past month it really hit home how much crap we had. We actually threw out, sold, gave away or recycled a good portion of what we had. I normally insist on doing a major purge every year, but Evil Homework took up all of my spare time over the last three years, so we didn't purge and we accumulated stuff. However, with the bebe coming, it really put the purge in a much different perspective, mostly because we really don't have a lot of storage space and we're introducing a third warm body into the house who will be a big magnet for lots of baby stuff.

You'll be surprised at what you can recycle or give away nowadays. Some things that we sold, recycled, or gave away included:
  • CD-R/CD-RW: we had about 50 or so, and it was really hard finding a place who would take them. Fortunately, Future Shop and Best Buy has bins that will take this stuff
  • Old electronics, including cell phones
  • Batteries
  • Paper (a lot which we shred as it confidential information)
  • Books: given to the library where they turn around and sell them for a profit. The monies then go back into the library to fund their book circulation supply
  • DVD/VHS tapes/CDs: also to the library
  • Clothing: went to the shelter
  • Older cameras: Hubby sold them on Craigslist. There are still people who like and use film cameras, go figure
  • Furniture (still yet to be gotten rid of): it will go to a good home as soon as it stops snowing and we can move them out of our house
  • Computer parts: At one point, we had about 6-7 computers between the two of us, never mind all the miscellaneous computer parts floating around. Most of these have been disassembled, and the parts brought to the recycling depot
  • Misc electronics, including adapters: to the recycling depot
Don't get me wrong, we are still guilty of throwing things out, we just trying to do less of it. And we will still buy things that are not reusable nor recyclable. We are, after all, the product of this materialistic society that we live in.

It's also getting difficult to figure out what we need for the baby, and what is deemed "nice-to-have", mostly because I've never done this baby thing myself yet. I'm not trying to reduce the number of things just because I'm trying to be more environmentally friendly, it's also easier on the pocketbook as well. I've managed to source out some baby consignment stores around town, and I'm hoping to use Craiglist, UsedVancouver, Kijiji and eBay to keep costs down. But I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't buy things that were frivolous for myself, my household, or for the baby. Trying to figure these things out, especially for the baby, is a hard task, and one way to do so is by doing research and reading what others have to say.

Wish me luck for a greener year!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009!

Happy New Years Everyone!

I normally never make New Year Resolutions, one doesn't always tend to keep them. Instead, I thought I would make a list of things I would like to do. They aren't goals per se, just things I'm hoping to do or look forward to this year.

1. Learn to be a good mummy!

Yes, the kid will be coming sometime early spring, and with that, a lot of adjustments. Over the years, I've learned to be a much more patient person, but I think learning to be a parent will stretch my limits even further. Many people have said so.

I think I will stretch and grow in other ways as well. If you know me well enough, you know that I tend to be a very anal and organised person. I'm a planner. I like to make lists. I like to know that everything is in it's place before I start anything. The kid's going to throw everything in for the loop, I won't have time to plan and organise, much less execute these tasks. Let's just see how much of my old ways I'm going to have to either let go or at least modify.

2. Greening my home

Hubby and I have spent a portion of 2008 greening our household, but we could do better. To learn to be green takes a lot of research: there so much information out there and so many products touting to be "green" that one really needs to sit down and determine for themselves if it's doable for their lifestyle. When I mean green, I mean not just things that we buy and the environment (which are important), but overall lifestyle, the foods that we eat and how we take care of our bodies as well.

Another challenge of course is tied with #1, greening the household with the kid. I've been telling everyone that I'll be trying to use cloth diapers over the disposable ones when the kid comes, and all the responses that I've gotten so far were pretty negative: they either laugh or someone would tell me that they've either tried it themselves or know someone who did, and failed at it. Only one of my co-workers told me that he and his wife successfully used cloth diapers for almost two years with their son. My usual retort is that convenience has a high price and a high toll on the environment, and to do something like this takes time to research, asking people for advice, and lots of perseverance. I have no illusions that this is going to be easy, but I have to at least give it the good old college try.

I've also been thinking for some time about starting my own green blog, separate from this one, but threw in the towel when I found out I was knocked up. It was too much for me to assimilate at once, and to set up a blog like that properly takes a lot of effort and research. I only have energy for one thing right now, and that's the kid. But that doesn't mean I won't be blogging about all things green here.

3. Spend less money

Going on mat leave is a bit worrisome financially. Even though I've been saving like mad, it's a little disconcerting not knowing how much the kid's really going to cost. We'll be going down from two incomes to about 1.25, so it'll have to be an adjustment on our expenses as well as our savings.

The big question a year from now is daycare costs. One of the things that I will need to really get my butt in gear with is signing up for several daycares. Nonetheless, I anticipate that full-time daycare will cost over $1,000! Eeep!

There also a temptation to buy stuff (and less than necessary stuff) for the kid. It's hard to figure out what you need and what you don't need when there are some many more baby and kid products out in the market nowadays.

4. Start re-learning the piano again.

I purposely went out and bought a weighted electronic full-keyboard piano last year and lugged it all the way back from Calgary, so I could re-learn the piano. I really like playing, but it does take a bit of time and discipline to even be passable.

I also made a very tough decision to sell my bass guitar. I love playing the bass, but I've forgotten how to. After some thought, I knew it would be simpler for me to re-learn the piano than the bass (as I still remember the basics and had 10 years of piano lessons), and the kid's not going to give me time for both. I'm still hoping that some time in the future, I will pick up the bass again, but for now the bass has gotta go. A friend of my said that he'd find it a good home for me. Sob.

5. Learn to cook!

This is for the benefit of Hubby, who has been bugging me to learn how to cook for some time now. I was going to start once Evil Homework was finally done, but by the time EV was done, I was about 2 months pregnant and fighting nausea and fatigue, so that went out the window. Here's hoping for a better year for this particular goal.

6. Blog at least once a week.

We'll see how much time the kid lets me blog this upcoming year. I'm still hoping to put something up once a week if possible.